Month: November 2016 (page 2 of 3)

Strathbungo’s Footbridge

The Darnley Road/Moray Place footbridge at Regents Park Square was built by the Paisley engineering firm of Hanna, Donald and Wilson in 1877.

The footbridge is an elliptically arched, cast-iron girder bridge with lattice railings which originally had steps down to the platforms of the station, which opened the same year. The steps down to the platform have been removed and the deck replaced with steel durbar plates.

Curiously, for the first 85 or so years of its life it never actually reached the other side!

Originally it only provided access from Strathbungo to the platforms of Strathbungo Station; there was no Darnley Road when the station opened, just green fields. Even the OS Map of 1951-52 shows no extension to Darnley Road at that time, and so it seems likely the extension to the other side was only built when the station closed in 1962, perhaps using materials from the dismantled steps to the platforms.

Map of Footbridge

OS Map 1951-2, showing footbridge

The bridge was C listed in 1995 , shortly after the other footbridge was removed, and apparently after one Moray Place resident asked that it be taken down for security reasons and other residents took a different view! None the less its ownership has been recently disputed as no one wanted to be responsible for its likely future maintenance costs. In 2015 Network Rail accepted that it was responsible for the bridge, and agreed to refurbish it. Restoration commenced in October 2018, and was completed in February 2019 .

Footbridge restoration

Footbridge restoration October 2018

After restoration, April 2019

Maker’s Badge

Hanna, Donald & Wilson

The manufacturer worked from the Abbey Engineering Works, and the Abercorn Foundry and shipyard, adjacent to the White Cart between North Croft and Niddry Streets, but was wound up in the 1910s . The Abercorn works is now the site of the Wallneuk North Church (1915), while in the 1920s Glasgow Corporation Transport built a transformer on the site of the shipyard to provide power for the tram network. The transformer building survives as the Housing Department.

Hanna, Donald & Wilson built ships, including a couple of underpowered and unsuccessful naval torpedo boats, HMS Fervent & Zephyr . The ships were launched sideways into the White Cart. They also constructed gas holders, boilers, and a variety of other engineering products.

HMS Zephyr

HMS Zephyr

Abercorn Foundry Site

Abercorn Foundry Site, now Wallneuk North Church, and the site of the shipyard, now Housing Offices, with the slipway to the White Cart behind (Google Maps)

Their work on bridges included the Albert Bridge beside Glasgow Green, recently restored. They were evidently proud of their bridges, using several in one of their advertisements. And pride of place top left is Strathbungo’s very own footbridge!

Hanna, Donald & Wilson advert

Hanna, Donald & Wilson advert (University of Glasgow Archives) – click to enlarge


Strathbungo Footbridge (enlargement)

Strathbungo Station, engine under steam

Strathbungo Station a year after closure. The Strathbungo footbridge is visible in the distance. Clan 72006 “Clan Mackenzie” heads parcels train on 13th June 1963.

Now, where do you think the photographer was standing? That’s for another posting. Photo courtesy John Robin .

(Article updated 23 May 2019)


Bridge refurbishment re-connects Glasgow conservation areas [Internet]. Network Rail Media Centre. [cited 2020 Apr 13]. Available from:
Strathbungo Footbridge [Internet]. MHB Consultants. [cited 2020 Apr 13]. Available from:
Records of Hanna, Donald & Wilson, shipbuilders and engineers, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland - Archives Hub [Internet]. [cited 2019 Jan 12]. Available from:
HMS Zephyr (1895). In: Wikipedia [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2019 Jan 12]. Available from:
Darnley Road/Moray Place, Former Strathbungo Station, Footbridge [Internet]. [cited 2016 Nov 30]. Available from:

Strathbungo’s Other Footbridge

Older residents may recall there was another footbridge over the railway at one time, at the end of Marywood Square. It was erected between 1895 and 1910 (it first appears on the 1910 OS Map). The gate and foundation are still visible on the embankment. It was latterly the property of Strathclyde Regional Council, but was closed due to metal fatigue in the summer of 1993, and was taken down on Sunday 8th May 1994. (Strathbungo News, 1994)

The only known photographs of it are the one above, courtesy John Robin, and this one.

Railings after fence and concrete repair and painting, circa 1990

Railings after fence and concrete repair and painting, circa 1990. Courtesy John Devitt.

Below, in 2016 all that remained were the gate to the footbridge, and a short length of spiked railings, in the undergrowth at the end of Marywood Square. Some of this disappeared in 2017 when Network Rail replaced the fencing. The footings of the bridge can just about be seen the other side of the fence, as can the bricked up exit on Darnley Road.

Remains of Strathbungo Footbridge, November 2016

Remains of Strathbungo Footbridge, November 2016


A Dawdle

Thanks to Marion Benamir for the following. She now resides in sunny Jerusalem, but grew up at 20 Nithsdale Road in the 1940s. For a creative writing exercise she wrote a piece about life in Glasgow, in the local patter, much to the confusion of her colleagues. She also offered it to us:

A Dawdle Along the Road

A love this part o’ Nithsdale Road, Glesca. Not the posh end wi’ a’ the big hooses and the high falutin’ folk, ye ken. Naw. A love this end, the Strathbungo end. The end wi ’the pubs. One pub on each corner o’ this part of the street frae number 2 tae number 88 on the south side and number 5 tae 85 on the other. It’s a’ closes and shops in between the pubs. The Regency pub is at the corner o’ Polloksaws Road wi’ its busy tramlines. The Titwood Arms is at the other end near the railway station and opposite th Titwood is Sammy Dows…. Ye’re wonderin’ aboot the other corner – right opposite the Regency? A licensed grocer wi no mulk – jist booze. And tae prove it – its whole side wall is covered in a poster of a giant man stridin’ along. Johnny Walker of course!

This evening am no’ stridin’ – am jist dawdling, no so steady on ma feet, along the stone pavement. Av had a few wi’ ma pals at the Regency so am off along the road tae the Titwood fur a few mare. It’s a Friday after a’ and uv got the envelope with ma pay in ma pocket… The wife’ll no’ see much o’ that, wull she?

Am keepin’ tae the sunny side o’ the street. A heard that the lang building on this side was built by a famous man – architect Thomson somethin’. Something tae dae wi the Greeks. Righ’ enough – and am lookin’ up at the tap floor, two flights up, the stones are nice and big and grey – jist like in Bath Street in the West End . Am lookin’ across the road noo – across the cobbles tae the barber’s wi’ his fancy pole – the buldin’ oan the other side looks kinda dark – not like this side – must be the soot frae Dixon’s Blazes where ma pal Jock works. Hard job that – shovelin’ coal intae the furnace a’ day.

Past the shopes- sweeties, chemists, the dairy…. They cun keep their mulk. Och, a need somethin’ tae hang on tae. Tae steady me up. A tree? There’s nae trees in the street – no’ here in Glesca – they’re a’ in the back greens wi’ the middens – so ave got tae hang on tae a lamp post. It’ll no’ be till near eleven till the lamplighter gets here the night… Summer…..!

On ma way again. Watch oot you weans! – al try an’ keep oot of yer way. This pavement’s good for the peever and the skipping, intit? A see ye were at school the day – that wee lassie’s still got oan her uniform – brown jailet and skirt – so she’s a Catholic – not a proddy like me. Whit are they callin’ her? Senga? Senga? Aye, a think that’s Agnes backwards. And that lassie holdin’ the rope – she’s one of they Jews – something aboot her face. Quite a lot o’ Jews round here – must of moved away frae the Gorbals. The Catholics say they Jews killed Christ but whit dae I care – it’s the Catholics that won the elections in the City Chambers am worried aboot.

Coal! Coal! – aye, there’s the coal cart coming up the road rumbling over the cobbles! They Clydesdale horses are still doin’ a grand job! And the coalmen – two flights up with the black stuff on their backs…. Am glad am no working a’ that. A see now cards with numbers stuck on some o’ the big windies up above me–That means they’ve got two bags – hundredweights – to take up the next close. Better them than me…. Oop..

And whit’s that – a nearly fell over these wains – two o’ them – kneeling doon in ma way on the kerb at the stank. Och a remember doin’ that in the Gallowgate – puttin’ chewing gum on a string tryin’ to hook a penny that’s rolled doon into the drain. They must be hopin’ fur two ha’penny gobstoppers from the sweetie shop.

Passin’ the electric shop, another close, and then – whit a fancy front! Two shops jined together! “The Leisure Library” it says on the sign. Mibbe a should go in an’ pit ma feet up. A like tae go tae the pictures and read the papers – but a dinna read fur ma leisure – jist a few drinks and a night at the dogs. Saturday – ma leisure is the terraces at Hampden Park watching Rangers. Ma wife bought me a ticket for the stand fur ma birthday – it’s no fur me that wi’ a’ the toffs…. Next year a want a sail doon the wa’er for ma birthday…. A’ the way doon tae Rothesday and sozzled a’ the way hame.

Mare weans over the road. Bouncing two ball against the wa’. An’ right next tae Sammy Dow’s too! Ah …Who’s that ower ‘ere? Bobby McPhee an’Archie Duncan– Ach …. Al gie the Titwood a miss and al jist dodder over an jine ‘em fur a pint. Hey, watch oot – ya motor car! They’ll need tae dae away wi they cobbles…… they’re no easy fur me crossin’ the road in this state…. But “wait fur me pals… al no’ be a minute…..!”

Other snippets she mentioned:

A neighbour in Jerusalem, Ephraim, turned out to have arrived in Scotland on the kindertransport and lived in Darnley Road.

She also recalled one night in the late 1950’s a man clad only in his birthday suit ran out of the Fotheringhay and caused a lot of interest in Nithsdale Road…

Before that there was a very posh fruit shop – Kate Young’s. The folks from the Pollokshields end of Nithsdale Road used to send their chauffeurs to Kate Young’s to pick up their orders. And there was an occasional pony and cart..

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